January/June...What to do and see when you vacation in Big Sur California, month by month description of what is going on in Big Sur plus area tourist activities and nearby visitors points of interest.
Some things to do and see and wonderful places to go in Big Sur Country:
• Coastal Trails
• Day Hikes
• Redwood Forest
• Big Sur River
• Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park •
• Andrew Molera State Park
• Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
• Limekiln State Park
• Point Lobos State Reserve
• Willow Springs Day Use Area
• Salmon Creek Trail
• Partington Cove, Partington Canyon
• Jade Hunting
• Jade Cove
• Scuba Diving for Jade
• Salmon Creek Falls
• Soda Springs Trail
• Backpacking and backcountry
• Bird Watching
• Elephant Seals
• Other Pacific Coast Wildlife:
sea otter, humpback whale, deer, bobcat, hawks, eagles, fox and more...
• Pacific Coast Highway 1
• The Big Sur Beaches
• Sand Dollar Beach • Kayaking • Paragliding • Scuba Diving • Molera Horseback Riding • Art Galleries • Big Sur Marathon • Chanterelle Festival and Cook-Off • Big Sur Station • Spirit Garden • McWay Falls • Henry Miller Memorial Library • New Camaldoli Hermitage • Mountain Biking • 4 wheeling • Old Coast Road
Click and Go Activities and Points of Interest List:
This page will help you plan your Big Sur visit and should enhance your Big Sur stay; it is not a constantly updated event calendar listing every small band that may have an engagement to play in Big Sur; it is a month by month general description what you might expect it to be like in Big Sur and some of things for you to do when you come.
January in Big Sur, New Year, Clear Skies, Gray Whales Migrate, Elephant Seals Land to Give Birth...
JANUARY 2017 in Big Sur - The best way to start out the New Year is to wake up in Big Sur! If you have never have been to a Big Sur New Year’s party you are missing out. Most all the Big Sur resorts through a New Years bash of some sort with live music, special menus and hotel room/dinner/party package deals. I have experienced the New Year party at the Ragged Point Resort many times and can tell you first hand much fun is had by all! Most resorts New Years parties are probably similar, the whole resort is one Big Party, celebration going on in the rooms, in the lounge and everywhere; people have some much fun they often return year after year.
It never gets really cold in Big Sur but January does have the year’s lowest temperatures. The cooler temperatures drive away the fog and mist making for beautiful blue daytime skies and at the night phenomenal star viewing because of the lack of pollution and ambient light. You will want to consider the forecasts when you plan your trip because the rainy season has begun but it usually includes breaks with fabulous weather.
The "Rainy Season" Generally Runs from November - February in Central California It’s not a good idea to travel during or right after a rain but in between the weather can be quite nice and many of Big Sur's’ attractions are open year around at least on a limited basis and even outdoor activates can be quite enjoyable like…guided Horseback Rides at 4,800 acre Andrew Molera State Park -- enjoy this coastal paradise from horseback, tours through flower-studded meadows, enduring Redwood groves, translucent streams and every ride includes the beach.
You can now spot the California Gray Whales migrating south towards the warm Baja California seas and look for baby sea otter pups with their mothers, they are born January/March.
The now protected Elephant seals (see feature article/photographs below), (Mirounga angustirostris), once over hunted to near extinction have large populations along the Big Sur Coast; in January the pregnant females begin to appear at favored beach locations and give birth to cute little babies within days. The best place to view the elephant seal activities is at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal rookery; there they have developed bluff-top boardwalks with nature interpretative signs and docents are also often on hand to answer questions. Ranger Guided Whale Watching -- January 2017 weekends 10AM un till noon, weather permitting, the California State Parks puts on Ranger guided grey whale migration watching presentations, (831-667-2315). They meet at the Mcway Falls Overlook at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and/or the vista point on Highway 1 at mile marker 37,1-mile north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
If you want to see the giant gray whales up close Virg's Landing of Morro Bay runs whale watching excursions December/June (805-772-1222) or north of Big Sur, old Fisherman's Wharf Monterey has several good whale watching excursion boat companies. Ongoing Live Music & Entertainment – Both Fernwood, Resort and Maiden Publick House (831) 667-2355 have musicians scheduled year round including through the winter at least weekends; call or check their events calendars to see what's going on: Fernwood Resort (831-667-2422) Events Calendar-- Maiden Publick House. November 19, 2016 and ongoing through January 8, 2017 –- Ice Skate by Monterey Bay: winter start time 7:00 pm by the fountain at Portola Hotel Ice Skating by the Bay behind Portola Hotel & Spa. OPEN DAILY Monday - Saturday, 11:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm to 8:00pm; HOLIDAY HOURS: New Year's Eve ~ 11:00am-11:00pm; New Year's Day ~ 12:00pm-8:00pm. ongoing Monterey year round : winter start time Saturday 7:00 pm from Portola Plaza by the fountain Ghost Tour of Old Monterey: guided trolley tour of some of Monterey's most notoriously haunted buildings. Soon you will be winding in and out of the path of history in the Ghost Trolley of Old Monterey, visiting locations of recent and historical specter sightings. All January through March -- Big Sur Lodge Special Room Rates: seasonal lowered room rates plus stay two nights and enjoy the third night complimentary, Sunday through Thursday only; not valid for groups, holidays, weekends or block out dates. Call for advance reservations 831-667-3100 or toll free 1-800-424-4787. Every Sat, Sun & Wed until March 2017, enjoy usual winter hour tours of Pt. Sur Lightstation but check the web home page for special tours 2017such as a Whale Watching Tour At Pt. Sur Lightstation, after an abbreviated walking tour to the Lighthouse, visitors will have plenty of time at the top of the rock to relax, picnic, and watch the migrating whales; this special interpretive tour will be led by trained docents with special interest in whales. Cost is $20 per person; first come, first served until capacity is reached. Friday January 13th/15th, 2017 -- a fungus fun & learning benefit the annual fungus festival and cook-off known as the "Big Sur Foragers Festival" chanterelle mushroom and local Big Sur wild food celebration; top chefs receive awards for their culinary creations in the "Fungus Faceoff", wild edible mushroom walk, displays, identification and educational hikes and talks by professional guests, special dinners, winemaker sponsored dinner series with world class wine and beer tasting throughout Monterey County, a special film, Sunday buffet and more all for the benefit of the Big Sur Health Center; this year a weekend-long celebration featuring an amazing array of wild foods, world-class wine and beer tasting, entertainment, expert-led foraging hikes and a friendly chef competition with celebrity judges, local cooks prepare unique fare ranging from rustic to elegant, new events and venues plus more. Festival partners include world famous the Restaurant at Ventana (831-667-4210) and its' sister resort the Carmel Valley Ranch (831-625-9500) plus Post Ranch Inn / Sierra Mar (toll Free 800-527-2200). For more Information Call 831-667-2580...purchase festival event tickets online... (Monterey Herald -- 2015 Big Sur Foragers Festival Report) Thursday January 12th, 2017 - Sunday January 15th, 2017 -- The 24th annual Monterey Swingfest:at the Monterey Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa, featuring world and national swing dance champions presenting dance workshops and open dancing; swing dance lessons, workshops, competitions and contests. Pt. Sur Lightstation Tours now available year round (winter & summer days and hours differ) and watch the website homepage for special tours like the winter Whale Watching Tours at Pt. Sur Lightstation:, Whale Watching Tour Description: after an abbreviated walking tour to the Lighthouse, visitors will have plenty of time at the top of the rock to relax, picnic, and watch the migrating whales; this special interpretive tour will be led by trained docents with special interest in whales. Cost is $20 per person; first come, first served until capacity is reached. Regular tours winter schedule October through March, Saturdays and Sundays 10AM, Wednesdays 1PM. Saturday and Sunday January 28th & 29th 2017, Saturday and Sunday 10AM/5PM-- 7th annual Monterey Whalefest a free fun educational, interactive family weekend celebration about whales with live music, exhibitions, activities and events for all ages at the Old Fisherman's Wharf that celebrates the Whales, Monterey Bay, and Old Fisherman's Wharf, benefiting many local marine conservation non-profit organizations.
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey's #1 Tourist Attraction, Visitor Activity
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Most of us think that we have a good idea what is going on in the world but the truth is most of the earth is ocean and what is going on there is happening mostly under the surface were few of us go, a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium can change that and you will be amazed. The Aquarium should a must see for every California tourist and should be on every Big Sur Coast travelers list even if you have been there many times they are always adding and changing their exhibits. Some people complain about the price for admission but the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit on a mission to inspire conservation of our ocean and its inhabitants so your dollars are a good investment and each year it takes nearly $6 million to feed and care for their animals.
The best time to visit the aquarium is in the off-tourist season although anytime is really a good time to visit, you may want to avoid spring break they get really busy; you will have to walk a ways from your parking spot and wait in line any time they are busy.
You should reserve the better part of a day for you visit or even return for a second day the place is huge and there is much to see and do. They also have certain daily shows and activities some of which you may want to take advantage of; they have special events, a cafe and restaurant as well as a gift shop/bookstore. You should visit their website to plan your trip and see what is going on; they do special tours and have sleepovers too!
Monterey Bay Aquarium Video from CaliforniaTravelTips
Good Books About Big Sur
FEBRUARY 2017 in Big Sur -- All February through March -- Big Sur Lodge Special Room Rates: seasonal lowered room rates plus stay two nights and enjoy the third night complimentary, Sunday through Thursday only; not valid for groups, holidays, weekends or block out dates. Call for advance reservations 831-667-3100 or toll free 1-800-424-4787. February Weekends - Big Sur Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park Whale/Condor Watching - Highway 1 Vista - 10:00 am - Noon California State Parks has Ranger guided whale watching and California condor spotting at the vista point on Highway 1 at mile marker 37 just north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Drop in, Park Rangers will be available. February 6th , 2017 & every first Saturday each month -- Monterey Wharf Walks at Old Fisherman’s Wharf: two hour Monterey Bay History Walking Tours meet 10AM at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf near the pink “Harbor House” store. Advance reservations required (831-521-3304) or email email@example.com Sunday February 5th, 2017 –- Super Bowl LI at the Restaurant at Ventana: Special drink prices and complimentary house-made kettle chips with delicious truffle dip (831-667-4242). You can also celebrate & watch big screen Super Bowl at the wine bar of the Ragged Point Restaurant. (805-927-5708) & they also have a party at Fernwood Tavern
This month also includes Lincoln's Birthday, George Washington's Birthday and Monday February 20th 2017 is the holiday Presidents Day and... Tours are offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning year-round but watch for specials like, the Birthday Celebration Tour --the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse was first illuminated on February 14, 1875. In celebration of the birthday of the lighthouse there may be special living history tours: guides and assistants will be dressed in period attire and enactors will bring light station history to life as it was at the light station during the 1890's. Meet at the former Piedras Blancas Motel by 9:45AM. This is a popular annual event, and leaves on time so arrive early! Regular tour fees apply: $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-17, no fee for ages 5 and under. See tour page for details about tours. Call 805-927-7361 for more information and reservations or 805-924-1807 or email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com. February 14, 2017 –- Valentines Day: Most all of the Big Sur Restaurants are not only open holidays but they also usually have special menus to celebrate the day; why not take a scenic Big Sur PCH 1 road-trip with that special someone for a romantic experience to remember; check individual businesses, they vary. -- (example of Valentine Menu Ragged Point Restaurant Pg 1 -- Page 2 ) -- Big Sur Bakery -- Big Sur Lodge ) Ranger Guided Whale Watching -- February weekends 10AM the California State Parks puts on Ranger guided grey whale migration watching presentations, (831-667-2315). They meet at the vista point on Highway 1 at mile marker 37,1-mile north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Ongoing Live Music & Entertainment – Both Fernwood Resort (831-667-2422) and Maiden Publick House (831) 667-2355 have musicians scheduled through the winter; Fernwood is doing weekends and Treebones is Mondays? call or check their events calendars to see what's going on. Typically the Rainy Season Generally Runs From November - February plan your Road trips accordingly and check weather and road conditions before you leave home. Always drive extra cautiously on Scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1!
Good Books About Big Sur
Northern Elephant Seal Watching on the California Central Pacific Coast
The Northern Elephant Seal, (Mirounga angustirostris) spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5000 feet deep up to two hours. The elephant seals of the Big Sur Coast migrate thousands of miles, twice a year and actually spend only a small amount of time on the beach where they can be observed. The best time to view them is early in the year January/March when they are birthing the cute young “pups,” fighting, breeding, and molting, for a month by month breakdown on what elephant seal activities might be viewed check the elephant seal activity calendar . The seals have favored landing spots where the gather every year “called a rookery” all up and the Big Sur Central California Coast but Piedras Blancas rookery, on Highway 1 seven miles north of San Simeon on the California Central Coast is the best place to view them in their natural habitat, it is home to about 15,000 northern elephant seals and there is ample parking and boardwalks with self interpretative tours, docents to answer questions are also often available.
Males fight for the Females at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
March & April in Big Sur, Spring, Waterfalls, Wildflowers, Whales, Sea Otters, Live Music...
MARCH 2017 in Big Sur - March is the time Big Sur generally begins awakening from its winter slumber to welcome spring travelers. The taverns often begin to host live music and through lavish celebrations for Saint Patrick’s Day. The is often exceptionally nice weather but plan your road trip accordingly and remember the days are still short. Layering is really the best dress mode for Big Sur anytime so you can put on or peal as necessary. Hopefully winter rains have started to green the hills now; try to plan your Big Sur road trip to avoid any heavy rains but March can be an excellent time to enjoy some of Big Sur’s beautiful natural waterfalls; the most popular is McWay Falls. It’s neat to watch the California Gray Whales surface and spout as they migrate back north to their arctic feeding grounds but the mothers with calves often travel close to shore and if you are lucky enough to look down upon a pair from a rugged cliff-top the sight is truly exciting and exhilarating. Sea otters can give birth to twins but like us they generally have just one offspring (pup) at a time; the last of the baby sea otters will be born this month you see the cute little buggers alongside their mothers. Adult sea otters on the central coast weigh between 45 and 65 pounds; unlike most marine mammals they have no blubber to keep themselves warm so they depend on an abnormally high metabolic rate; they can dive up to 330 feet and eat 25% of their body weight in abalone, urchins, snails, crabs and such. You may want to thump one over the head and take it home; they make nice hats (just kidding). All March -- Big Sur Lodge Special Room Rates: seasonal lowered room rates plus stay two nights and enjoy the third night complimentary, Sunday through Thursday only; not valid for groups, holidays, weekends or block out dates. Call for advance reservations 831-667-3100 or toll free 1-800-424-4787. March 3rd-5th, 2017 --Dixieland Monterey's Jazz Bash by the Bay (for info and to o purchase tickets call 888-349-6879 or 831-754-8786.), Celebrate Jazz and enjoy at the Monterey Waterfront and in the Golden State Theatre. Jazz Bash brings together the many colorful forms of American classic jazz including traditional jazz, ragtime, swing, gypsy jazz, zydeco and blues. World-class musicians make Monterey their home for this weekend celebration. Monterey comes alive with the tunes of our rich musical tradition in the ballroom and cabarets of the Portola Hotel & Spa and in the Golden State Theatre; the best in Dixieland, big band, swing, ragtime, blues and gypsy jazz comes to Monterey for 37 years now! March 4th 2017 and every first Saturday each month -- Monterey Wharf Walks at Old Fisherman’s Wharf: two hour History Walking Tours meet 10AM at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf near the pink “Harbor House” store. Advance reservations required (831 521-3304) or email firstname.lastname@example.org Friday March 17, 2016 --Saint Patrick's Day
: Wear green, this day everybody's Irish!
Get out of your car and get to know Big Sur spend A Night Beneath the Stars on Buckeye Trail! APRIL 2017 in Big Sur - In April the rains usually become less frequent but the streams are running high, clear and deep making April and May prime times to admire some of the Big Sur’s beautiful natural waterfalls. It starts to become obviously spring time when the emerald green coastal hillsides and Santa Lucia Mountain meadows burst with the bright colors of the California poppy and other native wildflowers; while you are taking that short hike to one of Big Sur’s lovely waterfalls keep your eyes open for one of my favorite Big Sur wildflowers, the precious wild iris. Just like the rest of nature wakening from its wintry daze so does the tourist industry. Weekend live music entertainment becomes available at some of the usual venues like the Big Sur River Inn,Henry Miller Library , Fernwood Resort and Tavern, and Maiden Publick House (831) 667-2355. Freaks for the Festival at Fernwood April 21st & 22nd 2017 -- (((folkYEAH!))) presents Freaks for the Festival, an intimate two day live music and camping event under the ancient redwoods and California coastal stars at the Fernwood
Campgrounds in Big Sur, CA.
The entertainment includes four sets of Chris Robinson Brotherhood, David Nelson Band, Morgan Delt, Scott Law & Ross James’ Cosmic Twang, Farmer Dave & The Wizards of the West, and DJ sets by Ben Knight. Click for tickets and camping passes on sale now and will sell out soon, only 333 tickets will be sold! Saturday April TBA, 2017 -- Celebrate Mission Days at Mission San Antonio de Padua: from 11 am to 3 pm. enjoy a step backward in time to the real Mission Days. There will be re-enactors in costume portraying soldiers, artisans and vaqueros on horseback. Demonstrations will include adobe brick making, acorn grinding, tortilla making, weaving, the making of beaded bracelets and necklaces, face painting, rope making, bell ringing, panning for gold and more. In the historic church, the New World Baroque Orchestra and Choir will play original music composed at Mission San Antonio by Fray Juan Bautista Sancho in the early 1800's. Mission era food will be offered for with water and soft drinks also available. Mission Days is a family event: no alcoholic beverages please. Call (831) 385-4478 for more details on this year's free event.( Mission & Hearst Hacienda on Hunter Liggett Army Base, Jolon, CA) --
EVEN BETTER...why not take a spiritual and historical mini-vacation and stay at a historical lodge next door to a California mission museum celebrate an evening of wine, music and good food in the Padres' garden at California’s third oldest and most remote mission, Mission San Antonio de Padua also soak up some Hearst historical flavor by spending the night staying at the Hearst Hacienda and Guest Lodge (reservations 831-386-2262 WEBSITE). Saturday April 1st 2017 and ongoing every first Saturday of the month -- Monterey Wharf Walks at Old Fisherman’s Wharf: History Walking Tours With Historian and Author Tim Thomas presented by
The Monterey Old Fisherman’s Wharf Association, available on the first Saturday of every month from 10 AM – 12 Noon. Tours meet at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf near the pink “Harbor House” store. Advance reservations are required (831-386-2262 or 831 521-3304) or email email@example.comApril and ongoing, 2017 –- Sunset Center in Carmel Concert Schedule: Carmel by the Sea Sunset Cultural Center -- The Monterey Peninsula's Premier Arts Facility, legendary musicians and more, they always have a great lineup of entertainment.
Saturday and Sunday April 8th & 9th , 2017-- Pacific Grove's 60th Annual Good Old Days Celebration & Music Festival: Live music, a parade, fun contests and more in downtown Pacific Grove; visitors and locals alike take part in this fun 2-day celebration! The largest arts and craft show in the county, the Good Old Days boasts over 225 art and food vendors in downtown Pacific Grove, a parade down Pine Avenue, live entertainment on five stages, old-fashioned games and contests, and lots of family fun. Sunday April 16th, 2017 –- Easter Sunday: Most all of the Big Sur Restaurants are not only open holidays but they also usually have special menus to celebrate the day; why not load up the family in the car and take a scenic PCH 1 road-trip for a fun holiday experience to remember; check individual businesses, they vary. April TBA 2017 --Big Sur Grange Music Revue: party from 4-8PM enjoy Dinner & or Potluck, kids eat free! Entertainment includes bluegrass tunes by The Carr Creek Crossing with Leslie Austin; lovely songs from Alaina Musich; amazing Jali and the Gnomestress; Beatles singalong with Chicago Ells & more. Proceeds to benefit the Big Sur Community Grange (831) 667-2956. Beginning April TBA, 2017 and a few eves & nights a month through September... special Point Sur Lighthouse Moonlight Tours Dates to change TBA Thursday April 21st 7PM; Saturday May 21st, 2016, 7:30 PM June 19 Sunday, Monday June 20, 2016 7:30 PM, also Tuesday & Wednesday July 19 & 20, 2016, at 7:30; 7:00 PM Wends day & Thursday August 17 &18, 2016; September 15 & 16 6:15 PM...), (831- 625-4419), there are also Saturday and Sunday tours year round and mid week morning tours are available during the summer (April/October); meet at Point Sur parking lot early; Tours are limited so book ahead; For reservations call (831) 649-7139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. No: pets, people or pets left in cars, motorhomes or campers, smoking, strollers or baby carriages. April TBA, 2017 –- Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History 56th Annual Wildflower Show: (831-648-5716), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, at the museum; more than 600 wildflower species and varieties will be on display, making it the largest wildflower show in the northern and western hemispheres; fun wildflower lecturers and workshops. April 24th, 2017 –- Nepenthe's 67th Birthday!: (831-667-2394), a favorite historic Big Sur eatery of tourists and locals alike, also associated with the wonderful Café Kevah and Phoenix Gift Shop/Art Gallery.
Sunday April 30th, 2017 –- 32nd Annual Big Sur Marathon: (831- 625-6226), the worlds most beautiful scenic run starts at 7 am the last Sunday of April each year. Usually, runners begin 2.5 miles north of Nepenthe and run, jog, walk and crawl till they get to Carmel's Rio Road. Wonderful spring rains have brought on the wildflowers but plan your road trips accordingly and check weather and road conditions before you leave home. Always drive extra cautiously on Scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1!
If you like to mountain bike or 4X4 a nice late spring or early summer ride (don’t go after a recent rain, you want the dirt road to be dry but the later it gets the dustier) try the Old Coast Road which runs from the Bixby Bridge to Andrew Molera State Park. Here is a nice map, description, and photos of the trip:
Beautiful Natural Big Sur California Waterfalls & hiking trails and Native Wildflowers
Books About California Wildflowers
Big Sur Beautiful Natural Waterfalls:
Black Swift Falls; highest Big Sur falls
Salmon Creek Waterfalls
I have always thought there was something wonderful almost magical about waterfalls and the Big Sur has many beautiful natural waterfalls, some run year round but all are at their very best shortly after the rains, late February/early May. My favorite and most often visited because it is so easy, is Salmon Creek Falls, you can see it from the highway, to get to the base is just a hop skip and a jump. If you are feeling more adventurous and have time for a nice
hike you can take the Ragged Point trail down to the beach and look back on the highest waterfall on the Big Sur Coast, Black Swift Falls. Another wonderful waterfall that involves a little hike but is well worth it is Pfeiffer Falls in Big Sur State Park.
Lovely Big Sur Wildflowers:
The area has a very mellow climate and many many microclimates; you will find something in bloom any time of year but springtime is when the wildflower blooms are most pronounced especially after an extremely wet year or fire. Often mid to late March heralds in the first spring blooms like the calla lilies, bright yellow sour grass and wild iris, then usually April and May come a profusion of California Poppies and Lupines. Some more of my favorite Big Sur wildflowers are the Orange Bush Monkey Flower and Blue Eyes; I also love the bright fire-red Indian paintbrush and Lupines come in every shade of blue to deep purple and white to yellow along the Big Sur Coast. Some very contented sometimes welcome sometimes not non-native beautiful flowering plants do so well on the Big Sur coast that they have become wild like, ice plant, pride of Madera, and pampas grass.
May & June in Big Sur, Run Marathon! picnic, hike, camp, ...
More Big Sur Wildflower Photos:
MAY 2017 in Big Sur - Take advantage of the brief lull before Memorial Day Weekend and come to Big Sur for the perfect hike or picnic. So officially the tourist season does get started with Memorial Day Weekend and as mentioned there is a brief peaceful lull prior to THE weekend and one short one after too but in June all the kids get out of school and everything starts to get busy. Not to worry, just bring your patience and try not to be in a hurry, come to Big Sur to RELAX. Big Sur tourists are for the most part friendly folk so feel free to mix and mingle and enjoy them too! Be sure to check trail conditions if you are planning a hike or back country camp trip: Ventana Wilderness Website Trail Conditions Reports. May is a month for U.S. folks to be patriotic, Saturday May 20th, is Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day falls on Monday May 29th in 2017. May Weekends -- Molera Ranch House -- (831) 620-0541 at Andrew Molera State Park Big Sur Historical Society operates a cultural and natural history center in the ranch house showcasing the rich heritage and diverse natural habitats of the Big Sur coast. Live music and entertainment gets going, check the calendars at places like the Big Sur River Inn,Henry Miller Library ; they built a new stage and movie screen and Fernwood Resort and Tavern . May 7th & every first Saturday each month 2016-- Monterey Wharf Walks at Old Fisherman’s Wharf: two hour History Walking Tours meet 10AM at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf near the pink “Harbor House” store. Advance reservations required (831 521-3304) or email email@example.com May 12/14 2017 --Mazda Raceway, Ferrari Challange: Thrill to a stable full of Prancing Horses from Ferrari... Round 1 of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge North America kicks-off at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (831-242-8200). Point Sur Moonlight Tours May TBA, 2017 and a few days & nights a month till late September -- The Point Sur Lighthouse Moonlight Tours & Whale Watching Tours from early April till late September, a few times a month an awesome Moonlight Tours TBA (831- 625-4419), there are also Saturday and Sunday tours year round and mid week morning tours are available during the summer (April/October); meet at Point Sur parking lot early; Tours are limited so book ahead; For reservations call (831) 649-7139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. No: pets, people or pets left in cars, motorhomes or campers, smoking, strollers or baby carriages. May 5th, 6th & 7th , 2017 -- 37th Annual Steinbeck Festival, "Migrations" is the theme of the this years Steinbeck Festival," -- William Sauder will discuss Rachel Carson's Under the Sea Wind (migrations in the sea); Jim Micheletti and Pete Barraza will discuss "Engaging Students: On the Road." and many more events in the planning! Tickets will be on sale January 30th at www.Steinbeck.org, or by calling the National Steinbeck Center store at 831-775-4721. May 19th / 21st, 2017 --24th annual Carmel Art Festival, free public benefit event: Centered around the visual arts, the festival features a Plein Air Juried Painting Competition, Silent Auction & Art Sale, Venue is Mission Street between Ocean Avenue and 6th in Carmel. In addition, galleries throughout Carmel will hold receptions and demonstrations during the Carmel Art Festival. Friday Saturday May 6th, 2017, Quail Lodge & Golf Club Monterey -- The Quail Motorcycle Gathering: Amongst the motorcycles, the event features a gourmet barbeque lunch with offerings from local wineries and breweries, together with live entertainment, leading motorcycle manufacturers, lifestyle vendors and more - the perfect opportunity to spend a day amongst the finer things in life. The Quail Ride on Friday, May 5th 2017 is limited to 100 motorcycles; a 100-mile journey through the Monterey Peninsula featuring parade laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Enjoy a gourmet lunch en route before returning to Quail Lodge & Golf Club for the exclusive Quail Motorcycle Dinner. Vintage and modern motorcycles are welcome to join The Ride. (831-620-8887). Thursday May 18th, 2017 --big big BIG Big Sur Fashion Show, Annual big big big Big Sur Fashion Show back again for 2017. Considered one of THE biggest events of the season, don't miss it; this year it looks like it will be at the ??? last year it was at Big Sur River Inn; it is a project of the Henry Miller Library . Saturday May TBA, 2017 Point Sur Lightstation Moonlight Tour meet at Point Sur parking lot 7:15 PM; Tour space is limited so book early; For reservations call (831) 649-7139 or email email@example.com. No: pets, people or pets left in cars, motorhomes or campers, smoking, strollers or baby carriages. Memorial Day Weekend, May 26th-29th, & TBA 2017 and all summer Big Sur kicks out the stops-- hopefully Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park will be back open they usually have an active and extensive schedule of guided hikes, Junior Rangers, and Ranger Cubs programs that start Memorial Day Weekend and run through the summer months. You'll find a variety of activities suitable for the whole family or just the kids; the Junior Ranger, and Ranger Cubs program activities are 5 days a week, Monday-Thursday and Saturdays, to Labor Day Weekend.
JUNE 2017 in Big Sur - Sometime mid-May to June the emerald green grasses of Big Sur turn golden but for a time spring flowers linger and it is truly beautiful and the weather can be marvelous at times but sometimes breezy then the summer fogs begin. The summer fogs play a big role in the Big Sur climate, they water the plants and add a mystical ambiance and can be unbelievably beautiful when viewed from above. If they should really irritate you take a fun road trip a bit inland; the fogs often clear in the afternoon and/or are just confined to the lower elevations of the very edge of the coast.
Tourism industry service people get in the season groove, tourist related business expand their offerings and Big Sur does love her visitors. The Junior Ranger Program, guided nature walks and nature discussions begin in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and at the Campfire Center of the San Simeon Creek Campgroundof Hearst San Simeon State Park; at the very end of May the Ventana Wildlife Society opens their natural history museum, the "Discovery Center" at Andrew Molera State Park. Saturday & Sunday June 3rd & 4th, 2016 --Castroville Artichoke Festival : 57th annual Artichoke Food and Wine Festival: 2 full days of good food, wine tasting, great live entertainment, fun kids activities, beautiful arts&crafts, interesting cooking demos, educational field tours, a car show, farmers market, a parade and more at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center... June 3rd 2017 & every first Saturday each month -- Monterey Wharf Walks at Old Fisherman’s Wharf: two hour History Walking Tours meet 10AM at the head of Old Fisherman’s Wharf near the pink “Harbor House” store. Advance reservations required (831 521-3304) or email firstname.lastname@example.org June 9th/11th, 2017 --Monterey Wine Festival -- Now in its 41s year The Monterey Wine Festival has established itself as the premier wine & food event in Monterey. Saturday & Sunday lucky guests will fine savoring bites of wonderful foods that pair well with beers and spirits and sips of world class wines. Now the festival features many new editions like cocktail camp(learn to Shake' em up Like a Pro!), an entire array of craft spirits and more that keep guests happy and the palate alive with anticipation. Beers and live music added into the mix make this a not to be missed celebration. Thursday June 8th, 2017--Monterey Bay Aquarium -- World Oceans Day 2017 - a celebration of the amazing ocean that covers 70 percent of earth. Learn about the treasures of the ocean, the threats the ecosystem faces and what we can do to keep it healthy. World Oceans Day is an international observance that's recognized by the United Nations and commemorated at aquariums, zoos, schools and conservation organizations across the globe. June 19 TBA, 2017, Point Sur Moonlight Tours, Point Sur Lightstation Moonlight Tour meet at Point Sur parking lot 7:30 PM; Tour space is limited so book early; For reservations call (831) 649-7139 or email email@example.com. No: pets, people or pets left in cars, motorhomes or campers, smoking, strollers or baby carriages. (also TBA) Tuesday June 14th (American Flag Day - clipart); Saturday June TBA, 2017 --Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade -- Fire Brigade Muster Games & BBQ...
Fun family BBQ benefit feast Noon to 3:00PM at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park! Barbecued Chicken & Tri-tip, hot dogs, beans, salad, cake, safety displays, Red Cross, Cal Star Helicopter, fireman games & more fun stuff... Saturday June TBA 2017 --Los Padres National Forest Association (LPFA) is hosting an event at the Big Sur Station to celebrate the 51st Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. LPFA is partnering with several other organizations and agencies including the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness Alliance and Rose Foundation. The event is open to the public and will include live music from the Zack Brough bluegrass band, food for sale, public speakers, informational booths from participating organizations local exhibits, kids activities and a rock climbing wall. The focus of the event will be a fun interactive way to celebrate and provide education on the importance and history of the 1964 Wilderness Act while also emphasizing the value of recreating on public lands.
Hang Gliding Big Sur Video, Near Plaskett Creek and Sand Dollar Beach
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Big Sur Station; Ranger Station Visitor Information Center
The Big Sur Station ("Ranger Station") (831) 667-2315. On the Pacific Coast Highway 1 mile south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and the Big Sur Lodge; 36° 14.864, -121° 46.906. Big Sur Station is as close to a "visitor center" as Big Sur has. Forestry personnel are available during normal business hours 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (PST) and have thorough Big Sur knowledge and information to answer your questions about hiking, camping, road conditions and more. At the Nature Store and gift shop you can pick up trail maps, books, posters, and lots of other information and stuff. They also have public restrooms. No public telephones but cell phones work in this area. This is also the location for the trailhead that starts to Sykes Hot Springs.
"Big Sur is one of the most beautiful sites in California (to hang glide). Pilots can often see whales in the ocean below during their migrations. It is suitable for novice to advanced HG/PG. Count on having a beautiful, smooth, sled ride, but soaring flights can be had on pre and post frontal days. "
April, May & June the perfect time for Picnicking Central California...Best Big Sur Picnic Spots...
Best Picnic Spots near Big Sur:
One really fun thing to do near Big Sur especially in the spring is picnic. Not only can picnics be a pleasurable exciting activity but it’s possible to save some money too if you budget doesn’t allow every meal at an expensive Big Sur Restaurant, (also there is no Taco Bell within hundreds of miles of Big Sur). The best picnic spots on the Big Sur Coast are many and the choices are almost endless. I have picnicked along Pacific Coast Highway many times and I will share with you a few of my favorite spots. The best spot to go will depend on the weather and a few other considerations like how big of a picnic you plan. On days when the weather is nice I have had a great picnic sitting on a blanket of one of the scenic turnouts with a good friend, bottle of wine, cheese, cold cuts, and fruit; enjoyable, simple, easy, inexpensive or expensive, however you want. I have also enjoyed a plain brown bag lunch picnic by the sea as well. Here are some of my favorite picnic spots along the PCH 1 starting South moving towards the North: Shamel County Park in Cambria is far from Big Sur but worth mentioning because it has so much to offer as a picnic/outdoor party spot that I must include it, it is next to the beach but protected from the weather by a fence and hedge, has mass picnic tables and group barbecue pit grills as well as small ones, a playground, a gazebo, a community swimming pool, large grassy area and restrooms! * San Simeon Natural Preserve in the Hearst San Simeon State Park has a few picnic tables near a parking lot by beach or if it’s windy and cool cross to the land side of the highway just across the creek from San Simeon Creek Campground there is and area with picnic tables, barbecue grills, running water and restrooms that are protected by a small bluff, all that great picnic stuff is available for free plus a nice disabled accessible self interpretive nature trail/board walk * Hearst Memorial State Beach , an all time favorite picnic spot they have everything required plus a pretty long white sand beach and nearby Sebastian’s General Store * Ragged Point has all required and more, espressos, convince store, million dollar view and nature trail to the beach * Willow Creek Vista Point and Picnic Area * Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area is excellent, long white sand beach, tables, barbecue grills, almost everything but no close by connivance store so don’t forget the mustard * Mill Creek Day Use Area has similar offerings to Willow Creek, rocky beach access and restrooms * Limekiln State Park has a wonderful picnic spot next to the beach * Lucia has a few nice ocean view bluff-top picnic tables and close supporting connivance store next to some restrooms * Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has a nice picnic area in the redwoods, tables, water and restrooms * Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has several nice picnic spots with everything close by * Andrew Molera State Park has a nice picnic area and beach * Point Lobos State Reserve is also a nice daytime park to picnic and play
Fun Outdoor Games
Traveling the Scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1, places to see and things to do at the end...
Scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 - One of the most fun activities in the area is to drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1; it’s a beautiful fun and interesting drive every mile from San Luis Obispo to Monterey; Popular Mechanics listed it at the top of it’s picks of the 20 Greatest Driving Roads in the World . It is often picked as the scenic alternative to quicker route inland via the 101 Freeway. For current California Highway conditions call 1-800-427-7623, or on the internet you can check California Highway Conditions:
PCH 1 and all California Highway Conditions at the California Department of Transportation website Mobile.So if you’re just passing through Big Sur on your way to Monterey or San Luis Obispo here are some event calendar links so you can see what’s going on wherever you are going…
Go On an Adventure! Explore North of Big Sur; sightseer links: fun and interesting visitor activities and tourist points of interest! Follow these exciting links and start planning your Pacific Coast vacation today!
Google Search Central California Visitor Information Websites Including www.big-sur-lodging.com for the best Central California Coast tourist Information, travel tips & tricks...
I have provided this Information on this web page to help you have wonderful vacation or trip. I have made this information current, complete and good to the best of my abilities but everything is subject to change at any time and I have to relieve myself of any responsibility for you, I have no control over how you use the provided camping information and accept no liability for anything that happens to you while you visit and camp on the Big Sur Coast or anywhere else.
Looking to head south to Hearst Castle Country after your Big Sur Coast Trek? Visit Hearst Castle Hotels Website:
A complete directory of lodging accommodations that
lists all resorts, motels, inns and hotels near Hearst Castle,
San Simeon, California. San Simeon Chamber of Commerce information;
visitor information and tourist guide for Hearst Castle,
San Simeon area activities and attractions.
I do my best to keep the Big Sur Camping Information here correct and current if you see anything that needs to be added or have some Big Sur Camping tricks or tips you would like to add please contact me, also for any: